How to Light a Gym?

Added: 09/09/21

How To: Light a Gym

At Phos, we are fascinated by the power of light to affect human physiology and psychology. Gyms are spaces in which we challenge our bodies and test our mental endurance. They are also sanctuaries, rare places to dedicate time to thinking exclusively about our health and wellbeing. In such a critical space, the right lighting scheme can enhance the entire experience and positively influence our performance and mindset.

They present a challenge to lighting designers in that these spaces are often enormous, with poor access to natural light, and an abundance of reflective, glaring surfaces. But as these spaces also have distinctive characters, they are also an opportunity for bold and exploratory lighting choices, as long as they remain safe and sympathetic to the people who use the space.


Here are some key considerations:


Reduce Glare

Between the equipment and mirrors, any space for exercising will contain a lot of reflective surfaces. Lighting will need diffusers to minimise glare, and we’d suggest pairing them with higher intensity lighting to keep the space bright and energising. We’d also recommend flattering downlighting on mirrors.


Using the Correct light temperature

A cooler colour temperature of around 4000k can be used so that it closely resembles daylight and delivers excellent visibility. Bright light is energising, increases awareness and reduces the risk of accidents.

This is typically much brighter than the lighting in your home, so blanket use might be overwhelming. It is worth reserving this bright light for key workout areas, with less intense lighting in corridors, changing rooms and other recovery spaces.

Warmer colour temperatures should also be applied (2700K) to create drama. This can be used to accent areas to make them more moody and inviting.


Lighting control for versatility

The ambient lighting in the gym must be sufficient to ensure the safety of the users but beyond that gyms should be welcoming spaces for all of their clientele. Gyms tend to offer classes that range from yoga to HIIT to weight training. A lighting control system in any studio space that allows colour and intensity to be adjusted will help create the right tone for the class.

Blue light in the evening for example will prevent production of the sleep hormone melatonin, which might be good for members who are attending before they start their nightshift, but is less desirable for a relaxing evening yoga class. 






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